Brexit can be stopped

In response to @owenjones84 piece in the @guardian 4-Jan

First – the referendum was only advisory. Parliament is sovereign – two-thirds of MPs opposed Brexit and a promise from a Cameron government does not bind any future government. The “will of the people” argument is nonsense. My constituency voted Remain but our MP is now a government whip and is certainly not supporting the will of his constituents.

Second – no more referendums. They have no place in our current political structure: we elect MPs to make decisions. The sensible way forward is to have a General Election with Labour opposing Brexit for the very good reasons outlined below.

Third – there is no evidence that UK Labour would lose a lot of support by opposing Brexit. The most comprehensive analysis shows that the main supporters of Brexit were Conservative and UKip voters. The lies, possible fraud / foreign interference and the tortuous “negotiations” since the referendum have probably convinced many people that Brexit is not a good idea. Others will have moved the other way but that is another reason why we need a General Election rather than another referendum.

You are right that Brexit is taking too much of our bandwidth. It is helping to divert attention from the truly horrendous problems within our NHS, welfare, schools, housing, transport, justice system etc. that need a lot of clear thinking. Only Labour (perhaps with other parties) can put these right. There is certainly no evidence that the Conservatives even have a clue.

Labour has good policies on all of the above – investing in the NHS, re-nationalising the railways, building more affordable housing etc. Thatcher used the “no state aid” argument to push through the privatisation of the energy and rail industries so that now other countries benefit from our high rail (4 times higher than Germany) and energy prices. Other EU countries simply ignored the directives.

I have worked all over Europe, I have any friends there and I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy the same freedom of movement and interaction with other cultures that I have enjoyed.

Our manufacturing industry (what we have left of it) is dependent on mainly European supply chains and our financial services industry will be devastated if we leave Europe – many firms are already looking to move their operations out of London.

But above all, what convinced me to vote remain is the fact that (apart from the Balkans) Europe has enjoyed 70+ years of peace – we are Europeans.

Labour has had its problems but is now (mainly) united behind Jeremy Corbyn and few Labour MPs still support the Conservatives – hopefully they will be deselected before the next General Election. The remainers need one major party to oppose Brexit and the only game in town is Labour.

The wounds caused by the referendum will run deep but a “Brexit in name only” will not heal them – Cavaliers and Roundheads,



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